Media Unleashed

What’s Working for Story Ads?

By: Angela Besprozvanny    February 25, 2020

Remember when Instagram stole the whole Stories idea from Snapchat? Well, it’s been a big win for Facebook with currently 500 million accounts using Stories. One-third of the most viewed Stories are actually coming from businesses, not people. It’s no surprise that Story ads are seeing increased ad revenue. In the third quarter of 2019, there was a 70% increase in ad spend year-over-year which accounted for 10% of the total ad revenue for Facebook. Whoa. So, what’s working for Story ads? Let’s dive in.


1. Stories are speedy and your ads should be, too

Create ads that leverage speed to capture and keep attention. The first impression is also important, so try to make the first frame memorable. Top-performing ads usually integrate branding and key messages at the start.

2. Multiple scenes work better, but keep them short
Top-performing ads have shorter, more concise scenes. Think snackable and fast-paced narratives. Don’t drag on your story, get to the good part quick.

3. Static is boring, add some motion

Even slight motion outperforms static assets, so get those images to move.

4. Sound matters

60% of Stories are viewed with sound on. Use sound to emphasize the experience following the motion of the story.

5. Add context, but don’t lose your focal point

Consider providing additional context by highlighting key benefits and features of the brand through text overlays. Be careful to use the right amount of text while maintaining a focal point. The center of the Story is where the attention is. Play around with stickers, but make sure it looks native within the design. Stickers can draw attention and make the ad feel less like an ad and more relatable, but only if it’s done right.

Stories are an immersive ad unit that allow advertisers to take over a user’s screen and can really be used in creative ways. The key is to design for how people are consuming the content in that environment while still adding elements of surprise and delight.